XWindows, Ubuntu, Cygwin and XP

Posted on Thursday 2 April 2009

So, as I have mentioned, I’m still putting the pieces back to together after my debacle with the Debian overwrite of my Ubuntu installation.

What has really hampered my recovery effort, is that I could only work on my main computer, no matter how I tried, researched, reinstalled or pleaded with all my systems, I could not get any external connectivity to my main computer from my other computers around the house.

This was really perturbing, because everything and I mean EVERYTHING was working almost flawlessly before the disaster. One of the easiest things that I set up  was my XWindows session ( essentially a remote desktop access ) was extremely simple to set up once I installed Cygwin ( a Linux operating system that runs within Windows ) on my XP machine. I just followed the guide ( the best directions that I have found on doing this are right here ) and everything worked first time almost effortlessly!

After the overwrite of my system, and it’s subsequent re-install, my XWindow capability ground to a halt, and no matter what I did, I could not get connectivity. What compounded the issue was that I eventually had to change the firewall package on my XP machine twice ( trying other/better packages ) but the errors and the problems remained the same…

Basically what was happening was that I could log into my Ubuntu machine but then the desktop ground to a halt showing only a colored background and eventually an error message would pop up complaining that it couldn’t operate like this ( sorry can’t remember the exact wording now… ) and that it might be related to firewall or networking issues.

I have been searching high and low for a solution, or at least someone who had the same problems as I did, but to no avail – nothing! Which leads me off on a little digression about how ridiculous it is becoming to find anything of substance on the net these days. The amount of garbage out there is overwhelming and the number of hits off of most of my keywords generated hundreds of thousands of useless information and a lot of it drivel….

So, this morning, I was stuck. I had to stay near the front door but needed to work on my computer down stairs… so I gave it one more try. And finally and/or funilly actually found a solution that worked! I’m not sure why I had to do what was recommended ( if I didn’t have to do it before ) but when  ( sorry bit of geek speek here ) I opened up port 16001 for both TCP and UDP things started working!

Apparently it is required for gnome ( the desktop software )I found this solution hidden ( like a lot of stuff ) within the Ubuntu forums from 2005…. here is the link  – ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=52320. Now why I had to do this the second time, when I didn’t do it the first?? I’m really not sure – but it worked! And that’s all I cared about!

So now I need to do some research as to why and how, and if there are any security issues etc etc. But the main thing is – it works! I’m glad and now I can work and wait at the same time…. Funny how things happen some times…

End Article

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